It’s a safe assumption that my critique on religion stems from not having one. Truth is, I don’t have a problem with religion. I believe it can be a tremendous source of a loving, supportive community. I do have a problem when that loving, supporting community becomes an institution of closed minded cash cows with the sole purpose of indoctrination and selling products of holiness-pay-us-and-watch-miracles-happen. I may not be religious but I have a fairly good understanding that your God has no interest in being monopolized.
But here we are. Televangelism is a billion dollar industry, spiritual counseling at the Scientology center costs $500 per hour, the Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca is being called the ‘new oil’ for Saudi Arabia, Vatican City’s Roman Catholic Church is synonymous with extravagant museums, and Vatican Bank still exists in it’s quiet, controversial chambers that once hid Nazi gold.
In the next two months, I will publish four separate essays examining Vatican City, Mecca, Televangelism, and Scientology. I hope my research educates or reinforces a better understanding of income generated through religious tourism and the superficial lies fed to believers to exchange their dollars for a closer relationship to their God.